Nepal through to World Cup Qualifiers after ‘thrilling’ finish

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Dubai: Nepal qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 in Zimbabwe after a thrilling finish at the ICC World Cricket League Division 2. Nepal beat Canada in the last ball by one wicket in the closest of matches at Wanderers, as they scored the winning one run in the last ball with only one wicket remaining. Canada, who looked to be in pole position with Nepal on 144 for nine, were heartbroken as the 51-run partnership between number ten Karan KC (42, 31b, 3×4, 4×6) and Sandeep Lamichhane led Nepal to the most unlikely victory. Dilip Nath (41) and Rohit Paudel (27) had chipped in with valuable runs earlier in the innings, as the stand out Canadian bowler Cecil Pervez took three wickets 41 runs.

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Meanwhile, the UAE secured their spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, by defeating Namibia by 19 runs. Batting first and losing a couple of early wickets the middle order restored the innings, scoring 247 runs for six wickets in their 50 overs. Shaiman Anwar (77, 59b, 5×4, 3×6), Muhammad Usman (59), Ghulam Shabbar (44) and Rameez Shahzad (33) all contributed with crucial runs, as JJ Smit was the pick of the Namibia bowlers with three for 57. Gerhard Erasmus (58, 63b, 3×4, 2×6) was yet again the stand out batter, whose attempt to get Namibia across the line was not quite enough.

Craig Williams (54) and Lohan Louwrens (43) got the hosts in to touching distance of the winning target as the overs started to run out for the African side. As the run-rate increased so did Namibia’s need to get runs, and the UAE bowling line up took full advantage taking wickets at crucial times. Amir Hayat (3-49), Ahmed Raza (2-30) and Rohan Mustafa (2-30) all chipped in with vital wickets as Namibia fought until the end losing by 19 runs.

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